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“The three-figure mark wasn’t in my mind” – Rohit Sharma after the Oval win

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Rohit Sharma expressed his joy after his batting efforts contributed to India’s empathic Test win over England at the Oval on Monday. Saying that a century was never on his mind, the Indian opener said he was just happy to embrace the challenge and deliver.

Rohit Sharma’s 127 set the platform for India in the second innings as the visitors piled up a 367-run lead. Scoring his first overseas hundred in his 43rd Test, the 34-year-old termed his innings “special”.

Sharma said:

“Getting that hundred was special. With almost 100 behind, we knew how important it was in the second innings to give them a target of 370-odd. A great effort from the batting unit. It’s my first overseas hundred, I am really glad that I could get the team into an important position. The three-figure mark wasn’t in my mind. We knew the pressure on the batting unit, so we kept our heads down and batted the situation. Once we got the lead, we just wanted to put pressure on the bowlers.”

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“I just try to get the team into a good position, with 30, or 80, or 150-plus. I used to bat middle-order, but I know the importance of opening. Once you’re in, you’ve got to make it count,” said Rohit Sharma after winning the Player of the Match award.

Rohit Sharma wasn’t on the field during the fourth innings of the Test due to a leg injury, but confirmed that he was doing better.

We looked at our training and technique after the WTC final: Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma’s Test career has swayed like a pendulum between the extremes of highs and lows.

After missing out on a Test debut at Nagpur in 2010, Rohit Sharma had to wait more than three years to get his Test cap. When he did, he slammed consecutive hundreds in the middle-order. Despite a great launch, the graph went downwards due to his inconsistency and inability to adapt overseas.

Since 2019, in his new avatar as a Test opener, Rohit Sharma has been India’s best batter in Test cricket. He averages over 58 as an opener and has scored runs everywhere he has played. There’s no greater batting challenge than opening in England, but Rohit Sharma is continuing a great run in the country, averaging almost 53 here.

Rohit Sharma believes the break after the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton in June helped him work on his game further.

“Back in Durham, we had time off to look at our training and technique, and after the World Test Championship final, we had 20-25 days, which was a real game-changer. Batted well as we’ve been challenged, especially at Leeds, but that can happen,” added Rohit Sharma.

The final Test of the series will be played in Manchester on Friday. With a 2-1 lead, India have ensured that they will not lose a series in England for the first time in 14 years.


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